Risks of Surgery for Lumbar Herniated Disc

In a group of 100 people who had surgery for a lumbar herniated disc, less than 1 to 2 people had an infection or some other wound problem. About 1 to 3 people had nerve root injury or new or worsening nerve-related problems, such as weakness, numbness, or tingling. About 4 to 10 people went on to have another surgery for a herniated disc.

Like most surgeries, back surgery has some risks. The more serious risks include:

Wound problems, including infection and hematoma (bad bruise): Less than 1 to 2 out of 100 people who had surgery had an infection or some other wound problem.

Nerve damage: About 1 to 3 out of 100 people who had surgery had nerve root injury or new or worsening nerve-related problems, such as weakness, numbness, or tingling.

Having symptoms that don't get better, or having new symptoms in the future: About 4 to 10 out of 100 people who had surgery went on to have another surgery for a herniated disc.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

Current as ofFebruary 19, 2016

Current as of: February 19, 2016

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics